Will Hoge, The Legendary J.C.'s, Orlando Citrus Parade and more

Friday • 30

ORLANDO CITRUS PARADE Orlando's 25th annual contribution to the glut of New Year's parades offers more than the standard marching bands and musical performances. Its floats are decorated entirely with Florida oranges, grapefruits and tangerines, which lends an appropriately acidic cast to their glowing depictions of local life. When the revelry is over, the fruit is carefully removed from the floats and donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank, making this event that most socially responsible of novelties: a parade you can eat. (As opposed to attending the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where you might just eat it.) This year's festivities are being shown on 125 TV stations nationwide, including our own WFTV Channel 9, which will air the parade exactly 72 hours later. If you somehow miss the real thing and the delayed broadcast, you can order a commemorative DVD or VHS at www.fcsports.com. As a final fallback, stick a grapefruit on a roller skate and have yourself a time. (11 a.m. beginning at Orange Avenue and Robinson Street; route ends at Rosalind Avenue and Robinson; free; grandstand tickets $24 at www.ticketmaster.com)

UMOJA You know what's funny? That Umoja isn't playing on, like, Umoja. (The first day of Kwanzaa was four days ago.) We're not sure if they planned on this gig being smack-dab in the middle of Kwanzaa, but nothing says "Harambee" like an Afrobeat jam session a few days after Christmas and the night before New Year's Eve. Although gigs by Umoja have never been undertaken with much regularity, they seem to have gotten a lot scarcer lately, so any opportunity to see this outfit is looking like a good one. The very fact that a city as theoretically homogeneous as Orlando can cough up a group of local weirdos who love nothing more than a 30-minute Fela-style groove is instantly encouraging for those of us who insist that said homogeneity is little more than a persistent stereotype. Actually witnessing said 30-minute groove is the sort of thing that simply makes us happy to be alive. (with Ivoir Spectacular; 9 p.m. at Will's Pub; $5; 407-898-5070)

22ND ANNUAL NEW YEAR'S EVE CAMPOUT For a change of partying pace, get down with Mother Nature in the company of outdoor-loving tree huggers and the like at the annual Central Florida Trail Association's New Year's Eve Campout in the oh-so-spooky Ocala National Forest – you never know what'll be drawn to your campfire, never mind your pup tent. This friendly group sets up on Friday afternoon and stays pitched through Monday, with oodles of activities – potluck dinner, day hikes, paddle trip on the Silver River and a traditional New Year's Eve send-off. (Friday-Monday at Doe Lake Campground, Forest Road 573, Ocala National Forest; contact Rachael and Lou Augspurg for maps and information, 352-669-2898, [email protected])

Saturday • 31

THE LEGENDARY J.C.'S Please shut up about New Year's Eve sucking. Yeah, we know the offerings at the bigger venues around town leave something to be desired, and it seems like every other place in town has seen fit to charge an exorbitant cover justified only with cheap champagne and Publix-bought canapés. But leave it to Will's to somehow make business-as-usual seem extra-special. Of course the J.C.'s play in town around once a month. Of course Eugene Snowden's other band just played the night before at Will's. Of course it's doubtful that anyone will show up in a ball gown or a tuxedo. But think about it: Isn't New Year's Eve all about being with those you care about and getting phenomenally fucked-up? And can you really think of a better place (other than your house) to hang out with those folks and listen to some sizzling, amped-up soul music? Didn't think so. (with The Delusionaires; 9 p.m. at Will's Pub; $15; 407-898-5070)

CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE What we just said about the offerings at bigger venues? Well, we weren't talking about Hard Rock. OK, sure, we know that the idea of sitting around listening to a glorified cover band play Back in Black and Physical Graffiti may not rank high on the Vice magazine to-do list, but, if you think about it, there is something perversely subversive about letting this event serve as your NYE soiree. Why? Well, just like the J.C.'s gig, this show is about actual fun, rather than the pretense of fun. You and your pals spread out across one of the tables, indulge yourself in the dinner buffet (which you know will be about a thousand times better than the one served up at your local pub), order a round or twelve of drinks and then spend the next couple of hours singing your drunk asses off. (Which will be really easy, since the band is so good, you'll feel like you're singing along to the album.) It's the kind of event that, if your expectations are calibrated correctly, could wind up being the sort of tradition that makes you look forward to – rather than mortally dread – end-of-the-year festivities. (6:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Live; $37 for concert, $65 for concert and buffet; 407-351-5483)

LA NOUBA Roughly translated from French to English, "Cirque du Soleil" means "party hard and live it up" (or something like that) – all the things most revelers are in search of on a Saturday night, especially this one, 'cause you gotta up the ante on fricking New Year's Eve. La Nouba, the fantastical show, is described thus on the Cirque website: "This creation is an unforgettable journey through our universe – at once threatening and exhilarating, frightening and familiar. … From this encounter is born fear and ecstasy." This extrasensory spectacular requires no substance abuse to get your heart racing and your head ringing, although there are places in which to imbibe in the rest of the Downtown Disney West Side complex once you step back in the real world. The New Year's Eve show also includes a souvenir program, a champagne toast and a "special finale." Be afraid. (6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney World Resort; $81-$109; 407-939-7600)

WILL HOGE "I need to get used to being alone." "Darling, let me be lonely tonight." Great. These are exactly the kind of things we need to hear on a night that's always fraught with potential disappointment lurking around every corner. Apparently Will Hoge knows a thing or two about not having anyone to kiss when the ball drops, and though his heartfelt rock & roll only occasionally ventures into sad-sack territory, he's got just enough depresso-dynamism to make this the go-to show for those who like their cathartic roots-rock served up with a side of magical malaise. We'll bring the flowers, you bring the bottles of cheap wine and we'll have a pity party in the corner. (with Matt Mackelkan; 9 p.m. at The Social; $25; 407-246-1419)

CYPRESS COVE NUDE YEAR'S EVE PARTY Partiers must be members of Cypress Cove or guests of members to get inside this clothing-optional, anything-goes Nude Year's Eve party. The theme is "Dancing Through the Decades" with music by Charlie D & The Things, DJ Riptide and the Nude DJs (naturally). Everybody knows that naked people love to dance – it's just what they do when they get those restrictive threads off their bodies. But that doesn't mean it's dirty dancing, just good, clean, au naturel fun. There's no need to sweat buying that fancy outfit you can't afford, which means that there's more money in your pocket, er, in your wallet, for drinks and more drinks. (8:30 p.m. at both Lakeside and Cheeks lounges at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort & Spa, Kissimmee; members only; 407-933-5870)

Contributors: Jason Ferguson, Steve Schneider, Lindy T. Shepherd

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